I tasted through quite a few gins recently to give my folks a break from bourbon. (Imagine that? Why would anyone want anything else, right?)

LONDON DRY
Juniper Green: First gin made from all organic ingredients in England. Distilled at Thames distillery which is the only one to distill and bottle in London. This one only uses 4 botanicals, where most use about 8-10. This makes for a less complex London Dry, but still quite flavorful.

Broker's: Triple distilled in 200 year old copper pot still using wheat base. Botanicals steeped 24 hours, then distilled 4th time. Sweet on the nose with citrus and pepper on the finish.

PLYMOUTH
Plymouth Dry: Whereas London Dry's can be made anywhere, Plymouth is a style that must come from Plymouth, England. First distilled in 1793, itís made at the historic Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth where it originated over 200 years ago. Relatively full-bodied. Uses wheat based spirit. Oldest working gin distillery. Reported to be used in one of original recordings of Martini cocktail. (Indeed it is often called for in vintage cocktail books for other cocktails, as well.) A wonderful gin both on its on and in cocktails.

GENEVER
Boomsma Jonge: Made primarily from "malt wine" which is a mixture of malted barley, wheat, corn, and rye. Juniper plays less of a role in flavoring. Soft flavor with less juniper spice than London Dry.
Boomsma Oude: Blend of wheat spirits, malt distillates, and aged in oak barrels for at least a year. A whiskey lover's gin. Sweet, full, sippable.

GERMAN
Schlichte Steinhaeger: Definitely too soft to mix. Lower proof than most gins at 80. Finishes with delicate whisper of vanilla.

FRENCH
Citadelle: By cognac's Gabriel & Andreu, Citadelle is quadruple-distilled in small batches in traditional copper pot stills based on a recipe dating back to 1771 that combines an unequaled nineteen botanicals. Sold in hand-fired bottles. Itís base spirit made from wheat. Botanicals placed in bag then distilled. So many flavorings make for a "busy" flavor profile with so many different things going on it's hard to define.

Magellan: Naturally blue color from iris. Wheat base spirit with botanicals distilled in cloth for fourth distillation in copper pot still. A very elegant gin with complexity and balance. Notes of clove, cardamon, nutmeg along with the juniper spice. Makes beautiful martinis.

SCOTTISH
Hendricks: Only one to use cucumber and rose petal in the botanical blend. Perfumed floral nose, indeed. Exotic flavor that is soft, yet amazingly complex. Too exotic for gin and tonics, in my opinion, where the tonic overpowers the delicate aroma Hendricks offers.

US
Junipero: Pronounced hugh-nee'-pair-oh. Made by Fritz Maytag at Anchor Distilling (think of Old Potrero). A full throttle style at 98.6 with pronounced evergreen aromas and big spicy flavor. Made amazing martinis when heavy on vermouth, and stirred 100 times to dilute that proof.